Student Voices

My interest in the immigration clinic was born from a desire to put my legal training to use specifically for clients who face unique and difficult challenges navigating the U.S.’s immigration process. I had the great opportunity to provide an immigration presentation with some fellow classmates to a community organization that focuses on assisting refugees. Some of the immigrants we spoke with gained their personal admission status because of their work helping the U.S. military in Afghanistan, and as a Navy veteran myself, being able to provide some assistance to these immigrants is very personally rewarding.”

Christian Litwiller, Class of 2020

“As I am about to graduate from law school, I can honestly say that working in the William & Mary Law School Immigration Clinic has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in law school. Not only have I been able to gain real world experience, but the work I completed in the Clinic was work that had a significant impact on someone’s life. My client was not able to file her immigration paperwork herself, but it was paperwork she desperately needed filed in order to continue living here in the United States. Working in the Clinic gave me the opportunity to help someone who truly needed it. The work I completed for my client was incredibly hands-on, and as a student in the Clinic, I was given the responsibility to determine how various aspects of the case should go. Anyone who is interested in gaining valuable experience and helping others should consider participating in the Immigration Clinic.”

Kelsie Sicinski, Class of 2020

“During my time in the Immigration Clinic, I’ve learned a significant amount about everything from the intricacies of asylum-related immigration law, to how to form an effective particular social group, and how to draft a compelling client declaration. I think I’ve learned the most, however, through my client-facing experiences in the Clinic. My client, like many of the Clinic’s clients, does not speak English, and I do not speak her native language. Throughout the semester, I have struggled to build rapport with and communicate with her in the most organic and effective way. Talking to her through an interpreter presents challenges I did not expect; conversations don’t flow as naturally and can feel very choppy and impersonal. But after more practice, and with the help of the Clinic’s Spanish interpreter (the great Michael Jordan), my classmates, and Prof. Kern-Scheerer, I’ve grown to overcome some of these hurdles and form a meaningful and productive relationship with my client. I know this skill will serve me well in the future when I work with clients from different backgrounds, and the legal services I provide them will be even more valuable because of my experience in W&M’s Immigration Clinic.”

Jessie Strauser, Class of 2020

“Participating in the Immigration Clinic was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in law school. I was able to serve the immigrant community by giving them the legal assistance they needed to navigate such a complex area of the law. Immigration law is constantly evolving and so much of it comes down to the facts in a given case. The Clinic gives students the opportunity to take these facts and use them to give clients a voice in a system where their voice is often ignored.”

Natalie Cardenas, Class of 2020